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The birch skin art of Oroqen
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  • http://english.dbw.cn銆€銆€ 2009-10-22 09:33:37



      鈥淗igh Xinganling Large forest Heroic Oroqen lived in the forest鈥?鈥︹€?Over the years, Oroqen hunting scenes and their life were described in this enchanting song. Today, in the ethnic museum of Orogen of Beijing Chinese national Park, you can see hunting houses, birch skin boats, Saman dance and explore Oroqen ethnic customs, history and culture.
         On the 16th of October in 2009, the new Oroqen ethnic museum officially opened and welcomed the first batch of guests. It was designed and built by Beijing Chinese Museum and Huma County of Heilongjiang Province.
         In the museum, birch skin boats and roe skin clothes attract the surprised eyes of the audiences. The audiences can feel this nation closely which is famous for one person one horse, one person one gun.

         Birch skin craftworks are the Oroquen specialty. There are plenty of birches grow in Da Xinganling and Xiao Xinganling. Pieces of birch skins become living utensils and handicrafts, as well as a variety of birch skin vessels and boats after machining by their dexterous hands.

         In the annual summer season, birch trees have more water and it is the season that the Oroqen people will strip the bark. They select the thick, straight but smooth birch, using a knife to slice an opening around the circle at the top and bottom of trunk. Then they slice up and down between two openings. Ripping along the knife-edge with both hands slowly, the entire rectangular birch skin will be stripped well. The next year, the same tree will have re growth.

         Oroqen people, whether they are men or women, are good at making birch skin products. They cut birch into pieces, after cooking, peeling, squeezing, bundling tying, selecting materials, cutting, bonding, sewing and other processes. They produce water bottles, photo frames, flower pots, insoles, jewelry, bark boats, and more than 100 kinds of products. Birch skin pictures are quite vivid.

        Besides general daily necessities, Oroqen people were able to build ships with the birch skin. This ship is narrow and long and has a general width of no less than 1 meter and a length of about 5 meters. It is made of two pine boards creating the skeleton. They use a large sheet with no holes in the birch skin for the bottom and the deck. The whole ship does not have one nail, but uses pine whittled nails to pin up each parts of the ship. This boat can take 23 individuals with a single paddle.
    It sounds extremely small but it has its benefits in catching close prey and wild animals.

        These craftworks鈥?that are manufactured are easy and durable, tough enough to withstand any collisions. In a long birch boat a person can deal with anything.


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    Author锛? 銆€銆€銆€Source锛? xinhua 銆€銆€銆€ Editor锛? Yang Fan
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